Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

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A Comparative Study of Miniplates Used in the Treatment of Mandibular Fractures.

Edwards, Timothy J. C. M.B.B.S.; David, David J. A.C., F.R.A.C.S., F.R.C.S., F.R.C.S.(E)

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: The purposes of this study were to investigate the differences in mechanical properties of major miniplating systems used for noncompression miniplate osteosynthesis of mandibular fractures and to determine whether these properties influence treatment outcome. The study was conducted in two parts. First, six of the major miniplate systems currently used at the Royal Adelaide Hospital were subjected to bending tests at the University of Adelaide Engineering Department to quantify the relative stiffness of each plate. Second, a prospective sample of patients presenting with mandibular fractures was analyzed. These patients were treated with a variety of the miniplating systems. The results of treatment as a whole were compared to identify any direct benefit consequent on the miniplate selected. While significant differences in stiffness were identified between the plating systems, no significant differences in treatment outcome were identified between the noncompression plates employed. Since no observable benefits have been identified by choice of miniplate, selection should be based on surgical preference, biocompatibility, CT compatibility, and unit cost. Because of the variations in materials, design, properties, CT compatibility, and unit cost, it is important not to regard all miniplates as equal and interchangeable. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 97: 1150, 1996.)

(C)1996American Society of Plastic Surgeons


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